Pelosi Taiwan visit – live: US deploys four warships as House speaker leaves Malaysia

As Nancy Pelosi begins Asia tour, China warns against visiting Taiwan

Tensions are high across the region ahead of House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi’s expected visit to Taiwan on Tuesday, with Chinese warplanes flying close to the median line of the sensitive Taiwan Strait.

Chinese warships and aircraft “squeezed” the median line on Tuesday morning, an unusual move described by one Reuters source as “very provocative”.

Ms Pelosi arrived in Malaysia on Tuesday morning for the second leg of her Asia tour, and the US military plane carrying Ms Pelosi and the Congressional delegation has now left that country, reported the Associated Press, though there is still no confirmation of where the plane is headed next.

China has repeatedly issued warnings over Ms Pelosi’s expected visit to Taiwan, with multiple media reports saying Ms Pelosi and five other House members for a Congressional delegation will stay Tuesday night in the Taiwanese capital, Taipei.

Ms Pelosi left the US on Sunday and began her visit in Singapore. Her office has said she will also travel to South Korea and Japan.

The visit to Taiwan would be the most senior by a US politician since then-House speaker Newt Gingrich went there in 1997.

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Taiwan defence ministry reinforces combat alertness level

As Chinese warships and aircraft moved in closer to the Taiwan Strait on Tuesday, Taiwan’s defence ministry reinforced its combat alertness level from Tuesday morning to Thursday noon, the official Central News Agency reported.

Since last week, China has conducted various exercises, including live fire drills, in the South China, Yellow Sea and Bohai Seas.

Some regional military analysts say that increased deployments at a time of tension raise the risk of accidents, even if no side wants an actual conflict.

Tensions are high amid reports of House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island nation.

Taiwanese navy launches a US-made Standard missile from a frigate during the annual Han Kuang Drill, on the sea near the Suao navy harbor in Yilan county on July 26, 2022.

(AFP via Getty Images)

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Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan ‘purely provocative’, says Russia

Russia has issued a warning to the US amid reports that House speaker Nancy Pelosi is headed to Taiwan as a part of her ongoing Asia tour.

The Kremlin said on Tuesday that the visit would put the US on a collision course with China and provoke tensions in the region.

“We cannot say for sure right now whether she will or will not get there, but everything about this tour and the possible visit to Taiwan is purely provocative,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

(FILE) Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov in Moscow

(EPA)

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Pelosi and delegation leave Malaysia

The US air force plane carrying speaker Nancy Pelosi and her delegation left from a Malaysian air force base on Tuesday, according to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity to the Associated Press.

Ms Pelosi and the delegation departed after a brief stopover that included a lunch meeting with prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

It is still unclear where she is headed from Malaysia, but local media in Taiwan reported that she would arrive on Tuesday night.

A general view shows the main entrance of the military Sungshan Air Base in Taipei on August 2

(AFP via Getty Images)

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US should give up attempt to play Taiwan card, says China

China has promised to take “strong and resolute measures” if US House speaker Nancy Pelosi goes ahead with her potential trip to Taiwan on Tuesday.

At a press briefing on Tuesday Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said if Ms Pelosi carries on down the “wrong path”, China will take “strong and resolute measures” to safeguard its sovereignty.

“The US should give up any attempt to play the Taiwan card,” she added.

Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs of China, Hua Chunying (R) gestures to a journalist during a press conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing, China, 02 August 2022.

(EPA)

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Recap: Tensions high across Asia as Pelosi poised for Taiwan visit

Tensions were growing on Tuesday amid reports of a potential visit to Taiwan later today by US House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi during her trip to Asia.

Ms Pelosi arrived in Malaysia this morning and has not yet confirmed the trip to Taiwan.

Flight tracking websites showed the US military plane she was travelling in left Malaysia a short while ago.

Read our recap of the situation here:

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Asian shares fall amid concerns over Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan

Asian shares were mostly lower on Tuesday amid concerns about regional stability over a potential visit by US House speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 declined 1.4 per cent to 27,594.73.South Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.5 per cent to 2,439.62.Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 2.5 per cent to 19,675.87, while the Shanghai Composite dove 2.3 per cent to 3,186.27.

“Risk sentiment took a hit following reports suggesting US House speaker Pelosi is to go ahead with her visit to Taiwan. Investors are likely to be looking for defensive positions as the geopolitical situation could escalate over the next few days,” said Anderson Alves of ActivTrades.

Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management said that “the first big relief point will be Pelosi’s safe arrival in Taiwan, followed by her safe departure”.

“No party wants a real war, but the risk of mishap or even aggressive war game escalation is real, which could always lead to a tactical mistake.”

(Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

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Four US Navy warships deployed east of Taiwan

Four US Navy warships, including an aircraft carrier, were positioned in waters east of Taiwan on “routine” deployments amid reports of House speaker Nancy Pelosi visiting Taipei.

The carrier USS Ronald Reagan had transited the South China Sea and was currently in the Philippines Sea, east of Taiwan and the Philippines and south of Japan, a US Navy official confirmed to Reuters on Tuesday.

The vessel is operating with a guided missile cruiser, USSR Antietam, and a destroyer, USSR Higgins.

“While they are able to respond to any eventuality, these are normal, routine deployments,” the official added.

The official said the amphibious assault ship USSR Tripoli was also in the area as part of a deployment to the region that started in early May from its home port of San Diego.

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Pelosi expected to touchdown in Taiwan

House speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was in Malaysia on Tuesday morning, is expected to arrive in Taipei by tonight.

AFP has published this photo with a view of the airbase where Ms Pelosi is expected to arrive.

A general view shows the main entrance of the military Sungshan Air Base in Taipei on August 2, 2022, where US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is planned to land.

(AFP via Getty Images)

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‘Win hearts and minds’ in Taiwan and Hong Kong, says Chinese president

Chinese president Xi Jinping has urged the communist party to “win hearts and minds” of people in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan as part of a “national rejuvenation.”

“The united front … is an important assurance for (China’s Communist Party) to defeat the enemy, to govern and rejuvenate the country, and to rally all Chinese people both at home and abroad to realize national rejuvenation,” Mr Xi said at a Beijing conference on United Front Work, according to state-run news agency Xinhua.

Highlighting that “profound changes” unseen in a century were playing out globally, the Chinese president said, United Front efforts were “even more important.”

This should include efforts to “strike the right balance between commonality and diversity” at home and “win hearts and minds of people in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan as well as overseas Chinese,” he added.

Chinese president Xi Jinping

(PA Media)

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US jet that flew Pelosi to Malaysia departs

A US air force jet that flew House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi to Malaysia has left the capital Kuala Lumpur, reported Reuters citing flight-tracking website Flightradar24 and witnesses.

It has not been established yet whether Ms Pelosi or her delegation were on the plane or not.

The speaker is expected to arrive in Taipei later on Tuesday.

(MALAYSIA DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATI)

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